How to Prepare Your Unoccupied Home for Winter

How to Prepare Your Unoccupied Home for Winter

Leaving a property vacant over the winter period can often cause stress or anxiety. To prevent weather damage, the property needs to be properly prepared and it can be difficult to know where to begin. We decided to help by sharing five essential steps for making your home winter ready:

1. Water

During the winter the water in your pipes can turn to ice, expanding and bursting the pipes. To prevent this, turn off the water at the main supply point. Next, you’ll need to drain the water already in the system. Turn on all faucets, including the shower and bath. Drain the toilet and all water filled appliances such as the dishwasher and the washing machine. For an added safety measure, pour anti-freeze down the drains.

2. Thermostat

Keeping the thermostat on a low temperature prevents freezing and keeps the interior of the house dry. However, before you leave you should have your heating system examined by a qualified professional to reduce the risk of fire or malfunctions. The heating should also be checked once a week, by your property manager or a trusted friend, to ensure it continues to work.

3. Bottled Liquids

The water in your pipes isn’t the only liquid that could cause a mess on your property. Bottled liquids such as water in decorative vases and fountains, mineral waters, beer or paint are also at risk of freezing. If your climate is cold enough that this could be a concern, even with the thermostat working, have a yard sale before you leave or donate them to charity.

4. Insurance

Unoccupied home insurance is vital for any vacant properties, but even more so in winter as the cold and extreme weather put your house at increased risk of damage. Insurance allows you to have repairs made promptly before this worsens, and at no financial cost to yourself.

5. Roof

Your roof is one of your homes primary protections against the weather and so you need to ensure this is in good working order before you vacate the property. Check it for damage, leaks, loose tiles or a build-up of water that could affect its strength. Make sure any overhanging foliage is trimmed to prevent possible storm damage. Clean the gutters and check these are directed away from the house to ensure rain and snow can drain away from the roof.

We at OBF Insurance Group hope you’ve found some information to secure your property from weather damage over the winter months. For more expert advice on unoccupied homes, check out our previous posts or customisable unoccupied home insurance policies.

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